Bay State Fencers Disciplinary Policies

Bay State Fencers Disciplinary Policies

1) Overview of Disciplinary Procedure

If a member of Bay State Fencers is found to have been in breach of the BSF’s Code of Conduct then formal charges for conduct unbecoming may be levied and disciplinary proceedings may be started. Once it has been determined that an individual is to face disciplinary proceedings, the next step will be a formal verbal warning. Another such incident will result in a formal written warning, and a third incident will result in dismissal from BSF and future membership.

2) Stage 1 - Formal Verbal Warning

Once it has been determined that an individual has been involved in an incident that is in breach of Bay State Fencers Code of Conduct and that disciplinary measures are required, if the individual to date has had no formal warnings then a formal verbal warning will be issued. The verbal warning may be issued by the Director, Head Coach or Competitive Program Director. It should be the recognized leader of the issuing body who delivers the warning, and the warning must contain the sentence: “This is your formal verbal warning..." The gist of the incident, date of issue and why the warning was issued should be noted in an email which should then be sent to director@baystatefencers.com for archiving.

3) Stage 2 - Formal Written Warning

Once it has been determined that an individual has been involved in an incident that is in breach of the Bay State Fencers Code of Conduct and that disciplinary measures are required, and if the individual to date has had a formal verbal warning (but no more) then a formal written warning will be issued. The written warning may be issued by the Director of Bay State Fencers or the Head of the Competitive Programs. It should be the recognized leader of the issuing body who delivers the warning, and the warning must contain the sentence: “This is your formal written warning..."

The written warning should explain why the conduct or incident has resulted in the warning and should seek to make the individual realize (if it has not already been realized) that actions and words have consequences both within the Salle and without. The gist of the incident, date of issue and why the warning was issued should be noted in an email which should then be sent to director@baystatefencers.com for archiving.

4) Stage 3 – Dismissal

Once it has been determined that an individual has been involved in an incident that is in breach of the Bay State Fencers Code of Conduct and that disciplinary measures are required; if the individual to date has had a formal written warning then a dismissal will be enacted. The dismissal may be enacted only by the Director of Bay State Fencers. It should be the recognized leader of the issuing body who enacts the dismissal, and the notification must contain the sentence: “You are formally dismissed from Bay State Fencers..." Where possible notification of dismissal should be given both verbally and in writing. The dismissal should only be used as a last resort, but should be used without remorse where the safety or health of Salle members or members of the general public is threatened, or where the Salle or Armoryworks LLC may ensue severe damage to its reputation, personnel or belongings through the individual's continued membership. Dismissal includes barring the individual from attending and participating in any meeting or event run by Bay State Fencers or any of its component groups.

It is acknowledged that sometimes a speedy dismissal is the only way to handle a volatile situation and in such circumstances the recognized leader of the enacting body should not be delayed by seeking advice that might take a few days to materialize. The recognized leader of the enacting body should under such circumstances formally suspend the individual from all Salle events and meetings, and arrange a time at which a proper hearing can be conducted between the individual and the staff of Bay State Fencers. The gist of the incident, date of issue and why the dismissal was enacted should be noted in an email which should then be sent to director@baystatefencers.com for archiving.

Individuals who have been dismissed from the Bay State Fencers are required to hand back any equipment or property that the individual has on loan from the Salle. 

Due to the severity of the onuses required to progress to this stage in the disciplinary proceedings, the Salle will revoke all certification and licenses and disclaim any further affiliation or support of the individual in any further endeavors.

5) Appealing Against Disciplinary Proceedings

An individual who is issued with any of the three stages of disciplinary proceedings from Bay State Fencers is entitled to request a hearing with body who enacted the dismissal. At this hearing, the individual is allowed to state their case and the managers may reconsider the decision if they feel that the matter has been unfairly handled.

To schedule a hearing the individual must formally in writing request a hearing and agree on a date and time at which both the individual and a majority of the managers can be present. The individual has the right to be accompanied to the hearing by another member of the Salle. The hearing will be annotated by the secretary of Armoryworks LLC (or a nominated representative if the recognized secretary is unable to attend) and both the minutes and the final decision will be sent to the managers and to the individual by way of formal written letter. The minutes and final decision should be noted in an email which should then be sent to dirtector@baystatefencers.com for archiving.

6) Informal Action

In many cases a breach of the Code of Conduct may be minor, and starting full disciplinary proceedings may not be the most effective manner to resolve the problem. Where appropriate any staff member of Bay State Fences may have an informal discussion with the individual or may send an informal note, with the aim of helping the individual to realize that such behavior is not appropriate. The gist of the informal action should be noted in an email which should then be sent to director@baystatefencers.com for archiving.

7)  Code of Conduct

Bay State Fencers (BSF) is open to anyone interested in participating in the Olympic sport of Epee fencing. However, participation at BSF is a privilege, not a right. Along with this privilege come certain expectations of behavior by all fencers, coaches, staff and guests in accordance with this Code of Conduct.

  • When entering the Salle, greet the Director, Head Coach and other staff and members; do not interrupt lessons or bouts. When leaving the Salle, give your regards to the Director, Head Coach and other staff and members.
  • Before leaving the Salle, put away your equipment in your locker. Hang up your fencing uniform, pick up after yourself and dispose of any and all personal trash.
  • Abide by the precepts of integrity, sportsmanship and respect while fencing and in your daily life.  Lose with honor and win with dignity.
  • Do not appear on the strip with defective equipment or with a dirty uniform.
  • Respect and protect the venue: do not damage walls, floor or strips. Do not hit the wall, floor or strip with your point or blade.
  • Do not throw any equipment under any circumstance. Respect club equipment as your own property.
  • If you are late for a class, join the class with the least amount of disruption. If you can't make a class, practice or scheduled lesson, let your coach know ahead of time.
  • Less experienced fencers should ask more experienced fencers to bout. Experienced fencers should be patient with and encourage beginning fencers.
  • Safety is very important; always check your equipment for defects in gloves, masks, uniforms and blades. Never aim your weapon at anyone who is unmasked or unprotected. Always keep your weapons pointed downward when carrying them around.
  • Flèche attacks MUST be made to pass beside the opponent without bodily contact. You are not allowed to execute a flèche until you are able to release/bend your weapon arm the instant your point arrives on target, to relieve the pressure on the point. Initiators of the flèche are responsible for preventing corps-a-corps, injury and weapon breakage. DO NOT flèche until you have had ample instruction and coach permission.
  • At the end of a bout, salute and shake your opponent's hand with your non-weapon hand.
  • Never argue with a referee, opponent, coach or instructor.
  • Do not try to unfairly influence others to give you an advantage, such as throwing a bout, giving touches or tampering with your equipment.
  • Ejection - If at any time a fencer or guest threatens the safety of other fencers, guests or coaches a member of the BSF staff may immediately escort the threatening individual from the premises.
  • No Discrimination – Coaches, fencers, guests and staff of BSF are expected to treat other coaches, fencers, guests and staff at all times and in all respects in a manner free from discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, status, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Coaches, fencers or guests who don't comply with this code of conduct may be subject to sanctions that may include exclusion from fencing activities, suspension of fencing lessons or expulsion from the club.  Repeat violations will be reviewed by the Director and Head Coach.